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Martin Luther King Papers Auction

This undated photograph, contains one of a series of note cards listing the talking points the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote for a speech he gave to his congregation at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. The note cards are among the items Maude Ballou, a personal secretary from 1955 to 1960 for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., collected during her tenure with the civil rights icon, and will be auctioned off Oct. 17 in New York. Ballou worked as King's secretary during the early years of the civil rights movement when he led the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Auction of Martin Luther King's Historical Documents


The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s personal secretary is selling a collection from the early civil rights movement, including handwritten notes by King and a page from his "I Have a Dream" speech, what the auction house calls an unprecedented historical trove.

Maude Ballou worked as King's secretary from 1955 to 1960, when King led the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Ballou, who turned 88 Friday, is selling the items Oct. 17 in New York through Texas-based Heritage Auctions. People can bid in person or online. Ballou and Heritage Auctions say a portion of the proceeds will be used to establish an education fund at Alabama State University.


Reporting by Holbrook Mohr, the Associated Press.